Saturday, 21 December 2013

More steps than flight miles today!

We arrived in Utrecht at about 8am (local time) after more hours travelling than I care to count. Car, plane, sitting around, another plane, train and walk.
Our dear friend and house sitter Ange drove us all the way to the airport – so much nicer than the train. Thanks Ange.
The Dom Tower, the main landmark, and
symbol of the city of Utrecht

The China Southern flight was easy, comfortable and uneventful. We were on a huge A380 from Sydney to Guangzhou and got to sit upstairs. 
They had really good coffee and lots of chocolates!
The airport and lounge at Guangzhou were freezing, and seemed to get colder as the hours moved on. They did have great food, including cooked-to-order wonton soup. They didn’t have blankets but did offer towels around to drape over us.
Walking briskly up and down the huge corridors was pretty much the only way to keep our toes alive.
Note to self and anyone else who flies via Guangzhou – carry all your warm clothes with you to put on in the lounge! 
I didn’t bring a warm coat, thinking I could buy one as soon as we landed in the Netherlands.
We slept well on the second leg of the flight (Guangzhou to Amsterdam) and so have adjusted to Dutch time well (so far).

Here is the link to our beautiful hotel in Utrecht. We got off the train about 7.30am. It was still really dark, so we decided to go straight to the hotel to leave our bags and get a warm drink. 
Our room was ready and they let us in – so early – great!

After coffee, we set off to explore Utrecht, now in the daylight. 
And what a day, brilliant blue sunshine, and only a light (but very cold) wind.
I found a coat, so warm I may never take it off.

We had a mini crisis when we forgot our PIN numbers for our travel cards and couldn’t get any money. It has been 18 months or so since we last used them. Thank goodness for the internet and security questions!

The old town part of Utrecht has many buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. It is home to the largest Uni in the Netherlands (established in 1636), and has been the main religious centre since the 8th century. 

The view from our room, of the Hotel courtyard
Our hotel has its own significant history, from a monastery as early as 1348, to a military hospital from the early 1800s to the late 1900s, and now a grand hotel. There is a Roman wing, so named because they found some remains of a Roman cemetery from 40BC to 275AD when they renovated. Artefacts and photos are displayed around the hotel.

Mr Jax has a Jawbone Up gadget that he wears on his wrist and plugs into his iPhone. It tells him how many steps he walks, how much sleep he gets and a multitude of other bits and pieces. I haven’t been interested in it much before, but was when he told me we walked just over 17,900 steps in the last 24 hours!
That’s more steps than the number of miles we flew!

Some other photos of Utrecht:

The only photo of both of us so far - me in my new coat,
and Mr Jax's shadow - he says intentionally!


  1. Looks great Jack, no doubt about Paul and his gadgets. Weather looks great we have had one 40 day and now 14 with heavy rain

  2. You're off to a great start. Hope you can keep that white coat clean - my white coat suffered when I travelled with it earlier this year.

  3. Enjoy Yourselves! And Have A Really Good Christmas & New Year.Regards,Tony.